Frequently Asked Questions
Imagine using Oriental Medicine to Reduce Pain And Stress with
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Acupuncture and Meridian Therapy
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient health science which is used to successfully treat both pain and dysfunction in the body. Authorities agree the science is between 5,000 and 7,000 years old.
Acupuncture appears strange to most Westerners as its primary application is the utilization of very slender painless needles placed in the skin at various locations to relieve pain or affect a body part or function.
Early Asian physicians discovered there is an energy network traversing on or just below the surface of the skin which communicates from the exterior to the internal organs and structures at over 1,000 “acupoints” on the body. This energy works in harmony with the body’s circulatory, nervous, muscular, digestive, genitourinary, and all other systems of the body. When this vital energy becomes blocked or weakened, an effect in a body system or anatomic location becomes evident. Stimulation of one or a combination of key acupoints on the body may restore harmony to the affected area.
Historians have stated, “More people have benefited from Acupuncture over the course of fifty centuries than the combined total of all other healing sciences, both ancient and modern.”
How does it Work?
Acupuncture’s goal is to restore normalcy to the body’s energy field by stimulating a combination of specific acupoints through a number of different applications; the needle is just one of them. Medical research continues in this country and others to explain acupuncture in western scientific terms what the ancient Asians thousands of years ago had earlier described. Today, many theories have been postulated as to why Acupuncture is so effective in pain control and condition response. However, as more discoveries are made, the need for more research is indicated.
Is Treatment Painful?
One would assume inserting a needle into the skin would be painful since most can relate to having a hypodermic injection or being stuck by a pin. However, four to five Acupuncture needles can easily be inserted into the hollow tube of a hypodermic needle. Because of the extreme slenderness of the needle, most people compare the sensations to less than a mosquito bite. The sensation referred to a “tehchi” occurs when the energy field is contacted; it feels like a mild to moderate heaviness or tingling.
Many superficial needle acupuncture treatments call for additional stimulation with the use of a mild electronic stimulation applied directly to the needle. It is pleasant and relaxing and produces an accelerated healing response. It is not painful, nor is any form of acupuncture.
Needles are historically the stimulation used in acupuncture, however, many physicians certified in Acupuncture are employing electronic and laser stimulation to the acupoint with equal effectiveness as the needle. Both of these procedures are painless and have become one of the standards worldwide.
The tapping “teishein” needle is not really a needle as it does not pierce the skin. It produces a mild topical sensation over the acupoint which may be compared to a ballpoint pen striking the skin. This form of stimulation has been successfully used for centuries.
What is the Cost of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture fees vary throughout the nation and the experience of the practitioner. The usual fee is between $50 and $125 per treatment. However, these figures are very general but encompass most practitioners.
What Conditions can Acupuncture Treat?
Many conditions may be treated with acupuncture, such as:
- Acid Reflux
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Colds & Coughs
- Digestive Problems
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Sexual Dysfunctions
- Sinus Problems
- GI Problems
- Cosmetic / Weight Loss
- Face Lift
- Meizen Cosmetic Acupuncture
- Preventative Medicine
- Auto Accident / Sports Injuries
- By harmonizing and balancing energy, you can prevent diseases
Acupuncture has its primary effect on all physiologic functions of the entire body. Therefore, it has shown incredible success in a multitude of conditions. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists over 100 specific pain and organic conditions which specifically respond to acupuncture. Some of the conditions are: diabetes, general pain relief and control for arthritis, cervical spondylopathy, knee pain, hand and foot pain, sciatica, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, lower back and neck pain, tendonitis and other conditions such as circulatory problems with high or low blood pressure, cold hands and feet. Some nervous system imbalances can also be treated such as anxiety, nervousness, sleeplessness, depression, asthma, allergies, sinus problems, digestive disorders like Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcerative Colitis, diarrhea, and constipation. Other common aliments treated include headaches, migraines, treatments to help stop smoking, and many more conditions.
There are, however, a few conditions that do not have a degree of success attached to acupuncture treatment. For a full list of all the conditions the WHO has proven acupuncture to be of merit, go to www.IAMA.edu (see “additional articles”).
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
Obviously, the number of treatments vary with different conditions and individuals. Chronic problems generally require more treatment than acute ones. Some patients notice an immediate improvement after the first treatment, whereas others may not notice any effect until the seventh or eighth visit. It has been shown that a certain percentage of patients receive maximum benefit up to three months following a course of therapy.
A small number of patients will experience what may feel like a worsening of symptoms as the body’s energies are returning to normal. This is expected and no need for alarm. It is followed by a rapid improvement.
Researchers internationally agree the usual number of treatments is between eight and sixteen, with twelve being the most common. The usual frequency is two to four times per week.
Patients are urged not to enter an Acupuncture program with the thought of “taking a few” to see what will happen. This would be comparable for a physician to recommend a two-hour operation only for the person to say they will try 45 minutes of it to see how it does.
Even though the practitioner may recommend twelve visits as a trial of therapy, should the patient respond completely within just a few treatments the physician may elect to discontinue treatment as success has been shown, or to continue its use to assist in stabilizing the condition.
Patients are always encouraged to be understanding with the healing process and allow it time to work.
Are Results Permanent?
For acute problems where there has been little or no organ system or tissue damage, results are often permanent. For chronic conditions, symptoms may occur from time to time. Generally, a few additional treatments are sufficient to obtain relief. It is suggested that patients with severe or chronic conditions return for a booster treatment three to four times a year.
Are Results Psychological?
Many critics of acupuncture have suggested the science is hypnosis or “mind over matter.” This critical is totally unfounded as acupuncture has startling effects in infants and toddlers, as well as veterinary applications. The effect it has in surgery as an anesthetic further disclaims the skeptics. Even total disbelievers report favorable response to acupuncture. However, a positive outlook is obviously beneficial in all phases of life to include healing.
Will it Conflict with My Other Medications?
Acupuncture will not conflict with any of your medications. Acupuncture is used to complement and supplement your physician’s treatments, not to replace them.
Auriculotherapy (Ear Acupuncture)
On the ear there are more than one hundred acupoints which relate to various organ systems and parts of the body. During fetal development, the first structure to form is the brain and spinal cord. At nine days of development, a projection from the mesoderm will develop a small nob which ultimately will become the external ear. All parts of the body, both internal and external, will have a specific reflex point on the external ear. Stimulation of one or more of these points elicit remarkable healing response.
The ancient Asians, as well as contemporary European and American practitioners, view the ear as resembling an upside down fetus with all of the body parts proportionately arranged in an on the ear. Therefore, the lobe of the ear would relate to the head, brainstem, face, etc. Whereas the top of the ear relates to the knee, foot, ankle and more. The entire spine may be successfully treated through the ear.
Even though chiropractic and osteopathy was discovered as a healing art in the late 1800’s, in America the use of spinal manipulation in the Far and Near East is estimated to be over 7,000 years old. Spinal vertebral therapy and soft tissue mobilization known in Asia as “Tui Na” is a vital part of “Chung Guo I Hsueh” or Middle Kingdom Healing. Since all parts of the body, to include all 300 trillion cells, are under the direct influence of the nervous system, the spinal column comprised of twenty-four movable segments, plays an integral part in human functioning as it protects the spinal cord which sends large nerve trunks to the organs and structures of the body through small openings (foramen) between the vertebrae. Chiropractic physicians and medical doctors in Asia are explicitly trained in the detection and correction of “vertebral subluxations” which impinge or impede vital nerve impulses. Thus spinal mobilization “adjustment” as it is referred to in the West, may play a vital role in the recovery of a patient. It may be delivered painlessly and safely by hand or with modern technologically advanced effective and painless adjusting instruments.
What is “Meridian Therapy?”
Meridian Therapy is the accepted name employed by those who practice the principle of Acupuncture without the use of a penetrating needle. It is also referred to as “AcuPoint Physical Medicine.”
Acupuncture is a principle, not a technique. Therefore, there are many ways to stimulate an acupoint other than a needle.
Many practitioners use electronic stimulation, laser beam, or pressure massage to effectively treat an acupoint. The principle of Acupuncture does not change, only the technique.
Asian and Western Herbology
Asian physicians have historically, for centuries, recognized the importance of herbs in healing. Herbs are utilized either alone or in combination for specific maladies with astounding success. Many modern drugs used in the West are derived from actions observed from specific herbs over the last one thousand years. There are a number of time-tested formulae which are available in tablet form from which have shown to be very successful in a myriad of health conditions.
Science and Acupuncture
Far too often in the medical professions, a patient is told after extensive examination, “There is nothing wrong,” “It’s all in your head,” or “Sorry, you’ll just have to learn to live with it.” The examining doctor unable to find the cause of the problem has little else to tell the patient. Fortunately, many physicians are now referring their patients for an Acupuncture evaluation as a last resort.
The Asians have reported over thousands of years, and now modern science is verifying the fact, that not only does the human body have an electromagnetic energy system, it courses over defined channels referred to as ching luo mai or “meridians.” In normal health this energy field flows unimpeded and is in a balanced state. If a disruption occurs, the altered energy flow can produce conditions and symptoms affecting certain organs or parts, and in many cases, the entire body.
If we were to compare the body’s 12 primary meridians flowing throughout the body to 12 radio stations in any major city, we will see each station airs at a particular frequency. If a station is broadcasting at 94.5 but the listener’s radio is picking up 94.4, there will be static heard. The same is true if the radio picks up 94.6. One frequency would be too high, the other too low; however the effect is the same… “static.” There is nothing wrong with the radio, just something wrong with the fine tuning. This is precisely what may happen within the human body when it is not operating at the ideal level of frequency vibration.
Acupuncture Evaluation Electro Meridian Imaging
The cornerstone of acupuncture diagnosis is pulse examination whereby the trained practitioner, by feeling the six pulses of each wrist, may be able to determine the balance of the twelve meridians. This ancient method of analysis is giving way to modern electronic, computer enhanced evaluation known as Ryodoraku or “Electro Meridian Imaging (EMI).” It is not based on years of perfect practice as it pulse diagnosis, and may be accurately employed by any practitioner.
The practitioner places an electronic probe on the skin over specific acupoints. By way of a sensitive metering device, the electro potential of the point is measured. This examination is extremely reliable and accurate and is quickly becoming the standard method of analysis.